Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Peach Jam That Wasn't

Remember how I bought eight quarts of peaches a couple weeks ago?

Yeah, these peaches.

I made jam out of one quart's worth.  Or at least, I tried.  It didn't work so well.  It ended up being more like super sweet peach chunks in syrup.

I followed the directions in my big book of canning directions, which said to use a quart of peeled, sliced peaches, a 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 7 cups of sugar, and a packet of liquid pectin.

Okay.  I lied.  I didn't quite follow the directions.  I didn't have enough sugar, only about 4 cups worth.  But I figured the pectin's supposed to make it jell up, right?  I just needed to cook it a little longer.  So I put my peaches, sugar and lemon juice in a big pot on the stove.

I brought them to a nice boil and then added a packet of liquid pectin.

I brought it back up to a boil for a minute (more than a minute, actually), then removed it from the heat.  I let it sit for a couple minutes before skimming off the foam.

Then I ladled it into my jars and processed them - the small ones at least. I used my big soup pot rather than my water bath canner, so for the 1/2 pint jars I did the "flip them over for a few minutes so the hot food sterilizes the lid" trick, which I don't really like to do but a lot of people swear it's okay.  I just stuck those jars in the fridge and informed anybody who happened to be within earshot that those jars had to be used up within the next month or so.

Unfortunately, my jam didn't jam.  It's nowhere near the awesomeness of the strawberry jam I made at the end of June.  But it tastes really good, and would be an excellent topping for a variety of desserts.

So, I learned the lesson of "always check to make sure you have an extra bag of sugar in the pantry before beginning any jam project." Then we put it on French toast.

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